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Struggling to settle on a Multieffects unit


hrnn1234
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Hello everyone. I've been comparing without end the current multieffects available on the market and I can't seem to make up my mind on one.

 

First of all, I'm not a heavy effects user. My idea is to have something like compressor+fuzz/distortion+chorus, add the tuner to that, and direct out. Also with the focus of using it live and at home. For recording, if necessary, there are plenty of plugins that can be useful. The multi vs this small number of pedals would be also that I can try out any other effect I feel like without having to scout the second hand listings. Additionally, every added pedal is an opportunity for something new to fail (power leads, signal leads, tone suck, noise). I'd would have to set up everything on a pedalboard too. Lastly, I really like the small footprint of a multi unit.

 

What I find most difficult on the current options, besides the fidelity and quality of the sound, is the operations and the editing interface.

 

There are units with only up/down foot switches which would require planning ahead which parts of the song go with what.

There are units with more foot switches, but then the editing on most of them seems to be through some software that I'm not sure if I'll be able to run (I'm a linux user). I don't mind menu diving, at least to reasonable levels.

 

  • I've seen that the Zoom B3n fits all this quite well, but I don't fully get from the comments I've read if it's a good unit that happens to be cheap, or a cheap unit that happens to be good. is it rather big too?
  • Hotone ampero seems nice too, the editing I think is done through the browser. I'm not entirely sold on the touchscreen as I think that might be the first thing to break.
  • mod dwarf, seems a bit niche and boutique, but maybe is also ok?
  • EDIT: Boss ME-50B?
  • HX line, headrush, etc.

 

I would really appreciate if you could share your thoughts on what do you think is the unit with the most straightforward operation, without breaking the bank too much.

Edited by hrnn1234
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I know you haven't mentioned it but give the HX Stomp some consideration.  It really does all those things pretty well and despite having various single pedal equivalents of the effects, I come back to the Stomp as a 'one box' solution. Great especially for the casual user and you don't need to adjust via a desktop interface.   If you need the extra switches you can simply get an additional double switch box and TRS cable for about £25 or so.
Also, there are always a few on the used market and if you don't like it, you will be able to move it on for more or less what you buy it for.

Edited by foxyFuze
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I've had several Zoom multi fx units over the years, both for guitar and bass. I think they are very good value for the money, especially if you like ease of operation. I sold my Zoom B3n simply because I had GAS, and wanted to try something else. I currently have a Line 6 HX Effects, which I think is very good indeed.

In my experience, one just gets used to the necessary methodology for using each one. It doesn't take long. Plus, editor software makes the creating and storing of settings very easy.

 

BTW, I chose the HX Effects over the HX Stomp because it already has six foot switches, and so doesn't require an additional foot switch for scrolling etc. Also, I didn't need the amp sims. I think a lot of it is down to whether you like the effects sounds that each manufacturer offers. 

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thanks for the quick replies!

 

I didn't add the HX's only not to make a huge list of all what's available. just added off the top of my head and just now realized I even left out the Boss units -they've been building sturdy and timeless stuff since forever, together with some crap of course- they deserve a mention as well. is the ME50b up to par in this day and age?

 

I'll give another look to the HX units. Hard to find a nice video where they show the operation itself, it's mostly tone tinkering.

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I've had experience of a few Zoom units - namely the B3N and the MS60MS. For the money I dont think they can be beaten and you can pick either up used for under £100 and resell it for the same if you don't get on with it. Loads of connectivity options for the B3N and the MS60 is the size of a single pedal if you're going to stick it on your pedalboard.

 

Upsides - an easy way to try out loads of decent amps and effects on the B3N and mainly effects on the MS60MS. There are some genuinely good ones in both - particularly the modulation and compressors. You get amp and cab models, loper and drums in the B3N as well. I had the MS60 on my live board for years and had it set to be able to just scroll forward through the patches in the order of the set with a single click of the pedal (Clean - Chorus - Clean - Chorus with a bit of delay - Clean - SVT amp model - Clean and so on.....) The B3N had the ability to do pretty much the same but also switch on/off different effects within each patch (So you could have 1 patch consisting of a Comp, Delay, Drive and Amp Sim and just switch individual ones in or out when you felt like it) 

 

Downsides - Quick tweaks at gigs were a bit of an issue due to my failing eyesight and having to get into menus to change things was a faff. No problem at home but in stage conditions it was difficult. Having said that, most things were rarely changed as i had them both for a few years. But I did sell both units and built a pedal board with knobs on.

 

They're both good units that happen to be cheap in my opinion. Even if you just use the MS60 as a tuner pedal and compressor/chorus delay on your board it's a bargain.

Edited by Mudpup
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If you feel that the Zoom B3n does everything you need quite well, but is a little too big then definitely worth checking out the much more compact Zoom B1-4. There's one in the FS right now for £50. You won't find better value for money and a great way to dip your toe in the water.

 

Drum machine, led tuner, looper and headphone amp capability are very nice additional features it offers, particularly for home use. And plenty of very contented B1-4 users on this forum. 

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Depends on what you want to use. I gig with a Helix HX-FX. I don't use patches, I just use it as 6 entirely separate effects that I turn on and off, with additional filtering, so I have overdrive, pitch up, chorus, reverb, long echo, short echo and also use it as a line in for a sample player.

Our set is never in the same order and the song comes up often with no warning, which is why i don't want to search patches.

So effectively It is like 6 stomp boxes (I have a couple of other boxes too). 

 

I have a B1-Four that I use in the house and when I am at practices and can't be bothered to take the pedalboard. And a B3n which.. sits around doing very little!

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8 hours ago, songofthewind said:

I've had several Zoom multi fx units over the years, both for guitar and bass. I think they are very good value for the money, especially if you like ease of operation. I sold my Zoom B3n simply because I had GAS, and wanted to try something else. I currently have a Line 6 HX Effects, which I think is very good indeed.

In my experience, one just gets used to the necessary methodology for using each one. It doesn't take long. Plus, editor software makes the creating and storing of settings very easy.

 

BTW, I chose the HX Effects over the HX Stomp because it already has six foot switches, and so doesn't require an additional foot switch for scrolling etc. Also, I didn't need the amp sims. I think a lot of it is down to whether you like the effects sounds that each manufacturer offers. 

 

after you mentioned the HX effects I went down the rabbit hole, not too far though, and found the Boss ES-3, which looks quite like what I pictured (minus the direct out). I really like the possibility to integrate it tightly with any other effect that might come down the road, and the very low foot print.

 

I tried checking out your posts to see if you posted your board but I couldn't find where to click. what do you use your HX Effects with?

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It all boils down to what you want to use it for and how much you want to spend.

 

If it's just for effects, then the B3n or the HX FX would be a good choice.

 

If you're wanting to use the amp/cab modelling, then the B3n would be good again, but then there's the Line6 HX Stomp/Stomp XL or the POD Go.

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I’ve been down this road as a guitarist and then bassist and both times returning to good analogue pedals.

Multi Fx in the main are digital and although they are very good today ( Helix etc ) you then can suffer with endless tweeking patch chasing and wondering why it never sounds how you want it.

For me as a bassist I use very few pedals as I find the core bass tone my bass and amp produce matches my needs playing rock etc.

Ive tried drive pedals and I didn’t care for them greatly and I would not need any other effect so a tuner ( Boss ) and Ampeg Compressor with my Line 6 G30 wireless setup works pretty fam good. Less to twiddle and less to worry about.

There are some great multi fx around and for some people they are a godsend for recording and certain live stuff but I would say if you must try one get an old second hand Boss ME50B or Zoom B3 etc 

If you enjoy the parameter playground then later invest in a top end Helix etc 

Then sell it off and return to analogue pedals or no pedals at all !! 

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12 hours ago, hrnn1234 said:

after you mentioned the HX effects I went down the rabbit hole, not too far though, and found the Boss ES-3, which looks quite like what I pictured (minus the direct out). I really like the possibility to integrate it tightly with any other effect that might come down the road, and the very low foot print.

 

I tried checking out your posts to see if you posted your board but I couldn't find where to click. what do you use your HX Effects with?

I use my HX FX just by itself. As I did my Zoom. My basic needs are: compression, envelope filter, octaver, and chorus.

then I have another patch for funk, where most of the above are switched on, and a couple of others that I only really fiddle with at home. These tend to be pitch shifters, harmonisers, and delays. I’m looking to make synths pads and leads. Like that famous Pat Metheny lead sound. Hope this helps.

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If you can be organised any of Helix-based units should be fine. 

 

I have the full Helix Floor with each song assigned to an individual patch and then up to 4 snap-shots for each song for all the various effects changes (I could have 8 snap-shots on both banks of foot switches, but I don't find the upper bank very user friendly for getting the right switch at the right time mid-song.

 

Using the Set List function, I have all the patches in the order that I need them, so that the up switch selects the patch (and snap-shots) for the next song (along with the song name in the display), so I don't even have to have a printed set list on stage any more.

 

Of course that won't work if you are in a band who change the set order on the fly...

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9 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

Using the Set List function, I have all the patches in the order that I need them, so that the up switch selects the patch (and snap-shots) for the next song (along with the song name in the display), so I don't even have to have a printed set list on stage any more.

 

Of course that won't work if you are in a band who change the set order on the fly...

 

Would love to have that! I suppose I could tie it to midi so when I select it from the list in Songbook it changes patch, but it would be another thing to wire up

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When I started to dabble in effects, I asked a similar question. The recommendation was to go with a Zoom pedal as it was an affordable, giggable platform which would introduce me to the ins and outs of such gear.

I did this, and it was an excellent decision. The B1Four has external volume and tone controls which makes it even better than the Zooms I started on. Are they any good? Well put it this way, I have bought hundreds of stomp boxes, a TC Electronic Plethora, a Helix Stomp, and an HX FX since and I still own and use three Zoom multi pedals.

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On 08/01/2022 at 11:47, hrnn1234 said:

There are units with more foot switches, but then the editing on most of them seems to be through some software that I'm not sure if I'll be able to run (I'm a linux user). I don't mind menu diving, at least to reasonable levels.

 

HX-Edit works with wine on linux, but TBH, I do all the editing on the unit, but it is handy for copying other peoples patches.

Tonelib Zoom (the editor for zoom fx) is available for ubuntu, not sure what linux you have.

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12 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

 

Would love to have that! I suppose I could tie it to midi so when I select it from the list in Songbook it changes patch, but it would be another thing to wire up

 

Since both the bands I play in at the moment use computer-driven backing, this is the next thing I am considering. Not only will the main song patch be selected on song load, but all the mid-song snap-shot changes will be automated as well. All I need to do as a bit of programming and add a standard MIDI lead between the interface than the Helix.

 

I used to do this with another band back in the 90s when the technology was a lot less reliable and user friendly. In fact we automated the patch changes for the whole band - synths, samplers, guitar and bass effects, electronic drums as well as the digital FoH mixer we used. We did have our own FoH sound engineer who would adjust the mix on the fly as necessary, but being able to set up the basic levels, EQs, effects and routings automatically at the start of each song was a massive time saver.

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I've used a Zoom B1on for years, it's not easy to adjust the parameters but in a way that's a good thing, stops you messing about with it during a gig, when you've really no idea how it's sounds out in the audience, but I only use the AC Bs pre and Bassdrive for my core sound and the Bass Muff for my Lemmy impersonation.

I commented on another thread I recently got hold of a Tech 21 Leeds pedal (paid way too much, but GAS has to be scratched) I've got my Zoom to sound the same, near enough, so I'll be moving it on soon 

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16 minutes ago, PaulThePlug said:

@PaulWarning

B1on owner here...

Care to share your Tech 21 Leeds settings?

presumably for the 'BassDrive' (Sans Amp Bass Drive Sim)

Have yoy tried the Marshall SuperBass amp and Cab SIM to 'Lemmy'?

AC Bs Pre gain 50, Depth 9, level 50, Bass -6, L-Mid 10, LM_F 1.2K, Mid 0, H-Mid -10, Treble -10. BassDrive, Bass-10, Trebl -5, Prese -5, Gain 100, Blend 100, Level 40, Mid 5.
You may not agree with me of course and it depends on what the Leeds pedal setting are
Leeds.thumb.jpg.0910715c2d915fc846ac3403bde11de5.jpg

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20 minutes ago, PaulThePlug said:

 

Have yoy tried the Marshall SuperBass amp and Cab SIM to 'Lemmy'?

no, I use the bass muff, gain and tone 100, mode normal, bal 100, and then some separate EQ,  it does depend on what other gear you're using as well, I use a P bass.

I'll try the Marshall Superbass next time I'm experimenting with the different settings

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  • 2 weeks later...

just to provide some closure on this, I found a MS-60b for 50EUR (total bargain) and started fiddling with it. might have to adapt some of my wishes to its limitations, but nothing to drastic given the low requirements I had.

 

sounds significantly better than the 506ii I have (of course) and the menu diving is quite pleasant.

 

when it comes to it, I will DIY a midi controller as it's shown on the other thread. seems simple enough.

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